The object, originally dubbed "Ultima Thule," was renamed to "Arrokoth" due to the connection between the word "Thule" and the National Socialists.
The object formerly known as Ultima Thule has two claims to fame. For one, it became the most distant object in the solar system to be visited by a spacecraft on January 1st, 2019, when the New Horizons space probe sailed past it. It's also well known for being named after a mythological forgotten civilization.
Jewish-Liberal backlash over the "Nazi connection" resulted in NASA recently changing the object's name to Arrokoth, which means "sky" in the North American redskin Powhatan language.
Thule was originally the northernmost location mentioned in Greek and Roman documents, which was later taken to be a reference to Greenland, Iceland, or Norway. Ultima Thule, Latin for "farthermost Thule," also became a way of metaphorically referring to any distant place — hence NASA's decision to name Arrokoth after the faraway, mythological land.
But under European thinkers in the 20th century, Thule took on new meaning. Patriotic Germans began to believe that Thule was the origin of the Aryan race.
The bulk of these musings took place in the Thule Society, an esoteric group with many members in the German Workers' Party, the political party that was famously later reorganized into the National Socialist German Workers' Party by Adolf Hitler.
Researchers defended their decision to name the distant planetesimal after the mythological land. "I've said it a number of times, I think New Horizons is an example — one of the best examples in our time — of raw exploration, and the term Ultima Thule, which is very old, many centuries old, possibly over a thousand years old, is a wonderful meme for exploration," said Dr. Alan Stern, the principal investigator of New Horizons project, during a press conference after the initial Jewish-Liberal outrage. "That's why we chose it. I would say that just because some bad guys once liked that term, we're not going to let them hijack it."
Its replacement is a decided improvement, however, particularly since Arrokoth will hopefully not be the furthermost object humans ever visit. Lori Glaze, the director of planetary science division at NASA, told the New York Times that the name was chosen to honor the american indian Powhatan people of Maryland.